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The Metal Comb

The Metal Comb -  Shared with permission from Betty and Stan Richardson from New York.

Betty RichardsonStan and I just want to thank you for allowing us to visit your location. It was our first trip to your area and we appreciated the tips on where to visit during our stay. The museums were wonderful and the view from the Levee was quite lovely.

As promised, I would like to share our “rectory investigation” with you and your readers. I'm a retired school principal and Stan is retired Army. We've traveled throughout the world and have enjoyed pursuing our interest over our 40 year marriage together. Stan fancies himself as an explorer of sorts and I gladly tag along. His interest in the paranormal stems from the loss of his mother as a young boy. He swears to this day that he saw her materialize soon after her funeral, but he was young and also realized it could have been grief manifesting itself.

Still, he has always kept an open mind. As an educator, I too have always kept an open mind. We went to a few events with larger groups of people at the Queen Mary and Stanley Hotels, but aside from being breathtaking locations, we really didn't get a great deal from the investigations. Too many people bumping around in the dark. We don't have fancy gadgets, just a couple of recorders and Stan recently bought a “rempod” although I don't pretend to know how it's supposed to work. But, he thought it was a nifty little gadget so he bought one.

We bought a couple of those haunted history books and have visited places like Gettysburg, haunted Niagara, haunted Chicago and small local attractions. It's always been fun playing paranormal detectives, but I can't say we even captured anything worth mentioning.

My daughter is a fan of all the paranormal shows. We don't really watch much television ourselves, but she sent me a link to one of your blogs entitled “Lady in the Pill Box Hat.” It was a wonderful ghost story to be sure. Stan and I both started following your blog after that. We were intrigued.

We followed the gradual deterioration of your lives by whatever was latched on to you both at the Sedamsville Rectory. It was moving and disturbing. It was a different kind of haunting from what you generally hear about. Like something old, dark and evil that was deeply rooted.

It was Stan that suggested we visit you. My daughter follows you on the social media sites and also mentioned we should visit for the two nights. She has young children and doesn't investigate, but always encourages us to do so.

Never ones to avoid a challenge, we decided to spend two nights at the rectory. We'd never been to Cincinnati and why not take a weekend to explore a new city? Honestly, we weren't expecting ghost to pop out of the walls, but we were so intrigued by your experiences and those of others on your website that it sounded like quite an adventure.

Thank you for making the visit so easy on us. You're very gracious to allow other explorers and truth seekers into your lovely building. I hope everyone respects and appreciates the work you've put into saving that historic building. It's simply beautiful!!!

The first day we explored the many locations you suggested and ate at Tom & Chee on the Levee. That was such a lovely afternoon. Union Terminal and the Art Museum were wonderful!! We even took one of those riverboat tours.

By nightfall, it was time to see what secrets the rectory might share. We moved room to room and nothing happened. It was quiet and serene. So much so we called it an early night and fell asleep early.

Thus far, the rectory was merely a lovely successful renovation story.

We weren't disappointed. After years of adventures, we never came to expect much. The adventure was in the anticipation of what might happen. We were pretty fatigued from our drive and day of exploring, so I doubt we would have heard anything out of the ordinary anyway.

Our second day, we spent exploring more of the city and surrounding areas. We had our first spaghetti chili meal and loved it. I even bought some packets to prepare back in New York. We headed back for our second and final night at the Sedamsville Rectory.

Our first observation when we returned that evening was that the energy felt noticeably different. It was immediate upon entering. Gone was the welcoming feeling of the previous day. It was replaced with an overwhelming heaviness in the air. Amazing how it did a complete 180 from the previous day.

Stan commented on how strange it felt inside now. We were both getting a bit unnerved. We tried to joke it off. But, there was no denying the building was mean that night. Mean – like a bully waiting to attack. We didn't feel welcome at all. I instinctively told myself I was going to stay close to Stan's side.

The previous night was what? Was it (whatever it is) just studying us, looking for signs of weakness or waiting to lure us into a false sense of security. Stan has never said he felt scared anywhere, but he comments that he was feeling a bit uncomfortable and he couldn't explain why.

We were up in the main bedroom changing into our casual clothes and both stepped out into the hallway when we saw something dart from the back bedroom across the hall into another room where the twin bed is located. Our reaction was one of shock and disbelief, but we both saw it. It was approximately 3-4 feet tall, just a dark shadow in a hallway where the only light source was a ceiling light. We followed it to see what it was, but when we got to the doorway we both stopped and did not enter the room. It was pitch black inside. I don't mean dark from the night, I mean it was like a black veil was hanging in the room.

Somewhere in front of us, in that small room we both heard a distinct growl. I was scared on an investigation for the first time. Stan put up his arm and told me to back up. We backed away from the growl. As we stood in the middle of the hallway, staring into the room trying to see what might be making the noise, we heard crashing from the floor below us. It sounded like someone was fighting and busting furniture. We hurried down to the ground floor towards the source of the disturbance coming from the front parlor. Once we got within a few feet of the room the noises stopped as suddenly as they began.

We just looked at each other. This is what we had been searching for on all the other investigations – real paranormal activity. Stan smiled for a moment and said, “Wow.” We were both scared, but still amazed at how the rectory was playing cat and mouse with us. Drawing our attention from one room to the next. We heard the bells on the door upstairs jingle and knew it was playing with us.

Just like that the rectory went from a quaint place to visit to a firestorm of activity. It was hard to believe, but it did in fact happen. We had just experienced it ourselves.

We went back up the main staircase towards the jingle of bells. This is nuts, I remember telling Stan. But, it was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Here we were, a couple of seniors coming face to face with genuine paranormal activity. It was like nothing we could even describe. It made us feel like little kids sneaking around in an old cemetery.

The rectory wanted to play and we were thrilled (and terrified) to engage. We grabbed our recorders and sat in the hallway upstairs, asking a few general questions. You'd think someone was standing right in front of us because the responses we got were loud and clear. It was so exciting!

We started to hear dragging in the same bedroom the small shadow figure ran into, like dragging feet or heavy footsteps. We just sat in the hallway and listened. If we didn't know better we would have sworn someone was in that room moving about. The noise traveled to the bedroom we were sleeping in. We had all the lights on, but didn't see anything. We finally got up to see what we could find and noticed that Stan's metal comb that he had beside his toiletry bag was gone. We know it was there because he had combed his hair after changing into another shirt.

We're not ones to jump to conclusions. We looked on the floor, emptied the bag, look all around the room. It was missing. We even thought perhaps he took it into the bathroom and left it there. It wasn't there, nor was it in his pockets. We checked them all. He combed his hair. I saw him standing in the mirror with that metal comb. It was gone and it made no sense.

Stan was annoyed more than anything else. He knows he combed his hair. Where was his comb? We looked everywhere for it. Retraced our steps into every room we had been in. Things just don't vanish into thin air. We must have looked a good thirty minutes with no luck. We heard a loud thud from upstairs. We thought it was the room with the suitcase, but we heard it again while we were standing in it. It was coming from above our heads.

We hadn't been up the attic yet that night, but we followed the noises. We heard the noise again when Stan opened the door to go to the attic. It sounded like a chair was being pulled out, and I admit I was getting a bit frightened. When we got to the top of the stairs, we didn't see or hear anything. We both know what we heard and we didn't imagine it.

We immediately heard noises coming from behind us, the creaking of stairs and the sound of shoes on wood. We were so curious, scared and invigorated, the hunt was on. We kept following the noises and we ended up in front of the basement door. We hadn't been down there yet, only peeked down into the darkness from the top of the stairs when we first arrived.

The stairs going down were a bit tricky on us older folks, but there was a definite darkness present. Stan remarked that he felt like we were being herded like cattle and just walked into a trap. I can't even describe how exciting and terrifying this was. We had never in all our travels come across a real haunting before.

We turned all the lights on in the basement. Didn't want to be fumbling around with a flashlight. Here's the most peculiar part. The room with the sinks has an old table, dust covered. You know the one. You'll never believe what was sitting on it? Stan's metal comb!

We looked at each other in shock. Stan starting talking a mile a minute about how could it be possible? We hadn't even come down to the basement until just now. I snapped a few shots with my digital camera. It was quite exciting. I wasn't sure Stan should even touch it, but he said he wasn't leaving his comb there. When he picked up the comb and put if back in his pocket, we heard an awful ruckus above our heads. We sure must have upset something.

I told Stan to put his comb back on the table and leave it.  Stan he looked at me like I was a bit coo coo. He said the Sedamsville Rectory ghost can buy it's own comb. Hahaha It is funny now that we think about it, but I was quite frightened at the time and neither of us have any explanation for how it ended up down in the basement.

The remainder of our evening was just as thrilling. We eventually fell asleep in the parlor, digital recording devices clutched in our hands. That rempod thing went off quite a number of times, kept scaring me with its beeps.  haha

What an amazing experience! I know it's different for everyone and if you could guarantee activity and produce it on demand, you could mass market it, but it just doesn't work like that as is witnessed by our many paranormal hunts which turned up nothing whatsoever.

Stan and I are just so grateful that the rectory obliged us. It was well worth the drive from New York. We had so many stories to share with our family and friends when we returned home. We've become quite the overnight celebrities at our local ghost hunting club.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting us experience your building first hand. It gave us an experience and memories we won't soon forget. I do apologize for this being so long, but we simply had to let you know how our visit went.

All the best to you and God Bless!


April 2015